Google Street View Foils Kidnapping

We are often annoyed by what we call "tachyon emitter technology" on shows such as C.S.I., where police might focus in on say, a retinal image reflected in a mirror, blowing it up 500x without any pixelation. But in this case, some real-life tech was used, as Massachusetts authorities used GPS and Google Street View to find a missing girl, according to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

Rose M. Maltais, 52, had allegedly kidnapped her granddaughter, Natalie, 9. They had been missing since Saturday January 3rd when when Maltais picked up her grandchild for a weekend visit.

Athol Police Officer Todd Neale and Deputy Fire Chief Thomas V. Lozier were the team. With Natalie's cell phone number, they contacted the wireless carrier, who continued to provide them with approximate locations of the phone when it was used.

Eventually, the location coordinates kept coming in within 300 feet of each other, at an intersection on Virginia Route 11 near Interstate 81 in Natural Bridge, VA.

Using Google Maps, the two then used Street View to "look around" the location until they found what looked to be a motel. Another search on Google for motels in Natural Bridge resulted in the Budget Inn-Natural Bridge Motel, which appeared to be close to the intersection on a map.

They then called state police in Virginia and told them the missing people were likely in the motel, which they were.

Rose Maltais is being held in Virginia while awaiting rendition to Massachusetts to face still undetermined charges.

Google even noted this "rescue" on their Public Policy blog, saying it was "an interesting first (at least as far as we're aware)."